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Paul Lewis, Rob Velella, "Edgar Allan Poe: Born in Boston" @ BPL

When: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Where: Boston Public Library - Boston Room (Johnson Building)
Cost: Free "Celebrate the 202nd birthday of Edgar Allan Poe in the city of his birth! "This FREE event will feature Boston College Prof. Paul Lewis explaining Poe's relationship with Boston and local writers. Poe himself (portrayed by Rob Velella) will add his thoughts and present some of his works. Then, Dan Currie of the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston will discuss the organization's plans for a permanent honor to Poe. Q&A and an 'open mic' opportunity for attendees to present their own Poe readings will also be offered. This is a FUN event, hopefully with a few laughs - don't miss it! "Sponsored by the Boston College American Studies Program and the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston, Inc". ... Rob Velella, National Park Ranger for the Longfellow House and formerly the Edgar Allen Poe house has been a part of Nerd Fun since 2008, giving many literary tours around Cambridge for us Nerd Fun members. Let's show our support for Rob!
Where to Meet: T.J. Maher will be waiting outside the Boston Room in the Boston Public Library starting at 6:00 pm for anyone who wishes to drop by. Of course this means he has to figure out where exactly the Boston Room actually is located. We should probably grab seats at 6:40 pm. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.
About Paul Lewis, English professor at Boston College: "Lewis is a member of the editorial board of HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research, a freelance writer, the organizer of the Poe bicentennial program in Boston, and the neologist who coined the word Frankenfood [...] "EN[masked] Poe and the Gothic (Fall[masked]: 3) "Working with Poe as a central figure, this course examines the development of English and American gothic fiction from The Castle of Otranto to 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and beyond."
From Boston Magazine, Touring Poe's Boston:
http://www.bostonmaga... "[3/10/2010] Edgar Allan Poe had a notoriously troubled relationship with Boston, his birthplace, but the Boston Public Library's exhibit 'The Raven in the Frog Pond' suggests the city might finally be willing to embrace the author of 'The Raven' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' To augment the BPL display, curators Dan Currie (an independent historian) and Paul Lewis (a Boston College English professor) have compiled Poe sites across town in a map, which we've excerpted here. The famously gloomy author now joins the ranks of Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and JFK as a local historical figure with a (mostly) foot-friendly route. 'We've all heard about the general myth, how Poe was seen almost as a madman, a misfit, a lunatic akin to one of his characters; and as part of that same myth, this idea that he hated Boston fits right in,' Currie says. 'We thought this map would be a good tool in helping to ground the Boston Poe story in reality.'" [
http://www.bostonmaga... ] 
About Rob Velella, taken from his The American Literary Blog:
http://americanlitera... "My name is Rob Velella (BA, American Literature; MA, English & Publishing) and I am a self-professed literary nerd. It started my freshman year in college, when an earnest attempt at studying music led to the realization that I was not a particularly talented musician. Looking for something to fall back on, I remembered how much I enjoyed reading all those classic works that were assigned in school. I became an English major and was re-introduced to Edgar Allan Poe; my interest in literature really springs from him. Having loved the three or four works I read in school, I wanted to read more about the writer — and was shocked to realize that most of what I learned about him was either completely untrue or far more complicated than was implied. Poe, like many, has become a caricatured portrait, only vaguely based on reality. Does it make 'The Tell-Tale Heart' any less interesting to know that the story's author was not himself insane? Not at all! Because of this, I have come to appreciate both the works and the biography of many authors — and I hope my blog spreads that appreciation to others [...]" "In the past few years, I have made it my goal to do nothing less than bring 19th-century writers back from the dead. Because I can't do it literally, I do it by presenting lectures and dramatic readings, organizing exhibits, leading tours and, of course, by blogging. I've also recently turned to first-person in-character interpretation, portraying the young Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar A. Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne".

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  • Liz

    Rob Velella dressed as Poe, commented about Boston as Poe, and read excerpts of his poetry--the dramatic reading of The Tell-Tale Heart was especially chilling!

    January 20, 2011

  • Doreen C.

    This was pretty cool. Although I could have done without the speech about the society itself, the dramatic reading of "The Tell Tale Heart" was very well done. Also, dinner after was fun with lots of lively conversation.

    January 20, 2011

  • T.J. M.

    Paul Allen gave a great talk about Poe growing up and visiting in Boston, and Rob was wonderful as Mr. Poe. Excellent dramatic reading of The Tell Tale Heart, Rob!

    January 20, 2011

  • T.J. M.

    I will be attempting to kidnap Edgar Allen Poe!

    January 19, 2011

  • Dawn

    Make sure to check out the vintage post card exhibit while at the BPL

    December 26, 2010

  • Drew G.

    This is the same guy TJ posted about back in October at the Somerville Library. I went then and he was really good -- did "The Raven" and one other from memory. probably going, will rsvp later

    December 21, 2010

7 went

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